How to prevent horizontal foundation cracks
Since most foundation problems, including horizontal foundation cracks, are caused by water – either too much or too little of it – in the ground around the foundation, you can prevent trouble by making sure you have groundwater under control. Here are some things you can do:
- Regrade your yard, if necessary – The yard around your home should slope away from the foundation, not toward it. If the yard slopes toward your home, water will drain toward the foundation. You don’t want this to happen.
- Keep water-hungry vegetation away from the foundation – If the plants and shrubs around your foundation need to be watered frequently, this will dump more water into the soil around the foundation.
- Clean your gutters regularly – Clogged gutters can cause water to spill over the side of your home and into the soil next to the foundation.
- Install downspout extensions, if necessary – If your downspouts are too short, they’ll release water next to the foundation. Downspout extensions channel the water away from the foundation before releasing it.
- Install a drain tile system – The best way – by far – to prevent excess water from building up in the soil around your home’s foundation is a drain tile system. There are two types, interior, and exterior. An exterior drain tile system is installed around the outside perimeter of the foundation at the footing level. An interior drain tile system is installed under the basement floor. They both work by channeling any excess water in the soil to a sump pit, where it’s then released away from the foundation either by gravity or via a sump pump. For more information on drain tile systems, see How Does A Drain Tile System Work?
Unfortunately, horizontal foundation cracks usually indicate a serious problem with the foundation. The good news is that most foundation problems can be fixed. So, if you have a horizontal foundation crack, contact a foundation repair contractor right away for an inspection.
If you’re in our service area in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, or Missouri, contact us today for a free repair estimate.